Friday, June 07, 2013

Last Time

I have been doing a lot of "last times" this month of May.

Like the "last time" to go to the little 4th and 5th grade bible study 
that I have helped with on and off for the past 4 years.

Monday was the "last time" I had to bring a birthday snack into my child's classroom--ever.

Ellie's birthday is in the the summer and we always end up bringing a birthday snack in the middle of the chaos of the last days of school.

This year was no different.

And she wanted slushy punch and White Stuff.

But it was the last time.

So I said yes.

I kept thinking I should feel sad

that I should be mourning these elementary school years.

With the theme parties 
and the projects with heavy parent involvement
and the open houses
and the teacher gifts
and the volunteering in the classroom.

But I'm not.

Ellie is so ready for middle school.

And I am ready to move on too.

 I am REALLY ready to not feel like the old sea hag of mothers at the elementary school.

(Seriously--are people having babies younger and younger or is it just me?)

It's me, I know.

Ellie pointing out her birthday sticker.
For the last time.
She is not letting me forget this.
My grandmother's famous slushy punch.
The kids singing Happy Birthday to Ellie in her
After I heard the buzz of the sugar rushing into the children's bloodstream,

I left.

I saw so many teachers I knew on the way out.

"You brought in the slushy punch?"

We were known for it, I guess.

It felt like my own little "last time" parade.

The next day we woke up to a CRAZY day of "last times".

For the past several years I have made a "Year In Review" photo album for my
grandmother. I always included the first day and last day of school photos.
It didn't seem right to just stop that tradition now that she is gone.
My parents drove over from Indiana to attend two graduation ceremonies back-to-back.

Ok. When did this become a thing?

Having a ceremony to congratulate a kid for doing what they were 
supposed to do and advancing to the next grade?!

High school graduation--that is a THING. 

They move out of your house after that one.

Rant over. I'm back.

The elementary school has a "Clap Through" where all the 5th graders parade through the entire school and each classroom lines the halls and claps for them.

Now that is cute.

Then they walk outside and the parents clap for them.


Then we all crowded into the gym and they played a DVD of pictures of the kids over the past 6 years while playing Taylor Swift's song "Never Grow Up".

So. Not. Fair.
The principal getting ready to introduce the 5th graders by class.
Seriously?? Doesn't the year 2020 sound Orwellian? Or at least the
backdrop of some Schwarzenegger action film where all the humans
have to wear electronic collars that will explode our heads off
if we try to have an original thought or try to leave the confines
of what is left of the earth after some sort of nuclear explosion?
Monte and I and Ellie after graduation.

Ellie and MiMi.
Gramp and Ellie.

After a quick cookie reception 
and a clothes change by Ellie, 
she went to her class party 
and we rushed to the middle school for McDaniel's graduation.

McDaniel is in the maxi skirt. Thank you, Lord, for bringing back that fashion! Finally a skirt long enough!
McDaniel's ceremony was over an hour long with speeches and awards.

They brought back a 26 year-old alum (of the middle school) that now plays the bass for some indie rock band.

He was cute as a button.

And funny.

And actually had something important to say 
about hard work 
and getting serious about your passion.

The principal, who I like very much, had an "interesting" message for the 8th grade class.

She said they were 

"The opposite of evil."

I think she was trying to be sweet with her message

but the compliment fell flat in a 

"You are so not a bunch of juvenile delinquents"


"Congrats on not annoying me half to death"


"Thanks for not being the devil 
the past three years!"

kinda way.

At least their DVD of pictures was filled with upbeat songs.

MiMi, McDaniel, Gramp and Monte after graduation.

Me, McDaniel and Monte.
(I have on heels which is why I am even somewhat close
to being as tall as McDaniel).

As we left that cookie reception, 

I told McDaniel to take a deep breath in, 

one last time.

You see, both girls always said it was the "smell" of things that they missed.

Their preschool.

The old library before it was renovated.

My grandmother's house.

I wanted her to remember the smell of this "last day".

She looked at me like I had an arm coming out of my neck and walked away.

She is making this much easier on me.


  1. That was beautifully written. I totally get what you are saying. It is sad to see them reach these milestones - sad and happy all at the same time.

  2. That was beautifully written. I totally get it. These milestones are sad - sad and happy all at the same time.

  3. You sound like you held up well through all these events. The last day at our local elementary does something similar to your clap where all the teachers wave in a line to the students as they leave by bus or car. I may or may not have cried every year... Happy Summer to you and yours!

  4. Oh, Mindy--a line of teachers waving good-bye to the students??? So cry worthy! So glad I didn't have to endure that! Happy Summer to you too!


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